Theocratic Ministry School Week Starting august 11 ‒ Highlights of Numbers 7-9

References to the Theocratic Ministry School

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Program of the Theocratic Ministry School: Week Starting august 11

ss14 pp. 1-4 Theocratic Ministry School Schedule for 2014
Aug. 11 Bible reading: Numbers 7-9
No. 1: Numbers 9:9-23
No. 2: Once Saved Does Not Mean Always Saved (rs p. 358 ¶4–p. 359 ¶1)
No. 3: Achan—Robbing God Brings Dire Consequences (it-1 p. 41)

w14 6/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents
AUGUST 11-17, 2014
“You Must Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”
PAGE 17 • SONGS: 84, 72

ws14 6/15 pp. 1-2 Table of Contents
AUGUST 11-17, 2014
“You Must Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”
PAGE 9 • SONGS: 84, 72

Highlights From the Book of Numbers 7-9

Aug. 11 Bible reading: Numbers 7-9

*** w04 8/1 p. 24 par. 4 Highlights From the Book of Numbers ***
Following the census, the Israelites receive instructions regarding the order of march, details concerning the duties of Levites and tabernacle service, commands on quarantine, and laws relating to cases of jealousy and vows made by Nazirites. Chapter 7 contains information about offerings made by tribal chieftains in connection with the inauguration of the altar, and chapter 9 discusses the Passover observance. The assembly is also given instructions about setting up and breaking camp.

Lessons for Us:

8:25, 26. To fill the positions of the Levite service properly, and out of consideration for their age, older men were commanded to retire from compulsory service. However, they could volunteer to assist other Levites. While there is no retirement from being a Kingdom proclaimer today, the principle of this law teaches a valuable lesson. If because of advanced age a Christian cannot fulfill certain obligations, he may engage in a form of service that is within his power to perform.

*** w96 4/1 pp. 28-29 Always Throw Your Burden on Jehovah ***
Using a wagon to transport the Ark violated all the instructions that Jehovah had given regarding it. It was clearly stated that the only authorized bearers, the Kohathite Levites, should carry the Ark on their shoulders, using poles placed through the rings specially built into the Ark. (Exodus 25:13, 14; Numbers 4:15, 19; 7:7-9) Ignoring these instructions brought calamity. When the cattle pulling the wagon nearly caused it to tip over, Uzzah, who was likely a Levite but certainly not a priest, reached out to steady the Ark and was struck down by Jehovah for his irreverence.—2 Samuel 6:6, 7.

*** si p. 32 pars. 15-16 Bible Book Number 4—Numbers ***
15 Filling in some details from the previous month (Num. 7:1, 10; Ex. 40:17), Moses next tells of the contributions of materials made by the 12 chieftains of the people over a period of 12 days from the time of the inauguration of the altar. There was no competition or seeking of self-glory in it; each one contributed exactly what the others did. All must now keep in mind that over these chieftains, and over Moses himself, there is Jehovah God, who speaks instructions to Moses. They must never forget their relationship to Jehovah. The Passover is to remind them of Jehovah’s wondrous deliverance from Egypt, and they celebrate it here in the wilderness at the appointed time, one year after leaving Egypt.
16 In the same way that he had directed Israel’s movement out of Egypt, Jehovah continues to lead the nation in its travels by a cloud that covers the tabernacle of the tent of the Testimony by day and by the appearance of fire there by night. When the cloud moves, the nation moves. When the cloud remains over the tabernacle, the nation remains encamped, whether for a few days or a month or longer, for the account tells us: “At the order of Jehovah they would encamp, and at the order of Jehovah they would pull away. They kept their obligation to Jehovah at the order of Jehovah by means of Moses.” (Num. 9:23) As the time for departure from Sinai draws near, trumpet signals are arranged both to assemble the people and to direct the various divisions of the encampment on their wilderness trek.

*** hs chap. 2 p. 31 par. 32 Holy Spirit Active in the Invisible Heavenly Realm ***
32 This golden ark or chest was used as a receptacle for sacred articles. It had a cover surmounted by two golden cherubs with wings spread out to cover the mercy seat or propitiatory. When this ark was placed in the Most Holy of the tabernacle or temple, a miraculous light (the Shekinah light) appeared above the wings of the cherubs. (Exodus 25:10-22; 2 Kings 19:15) Thus Jehovah was represented as throning above the cherubs and giving instructions from there. Moses tells of his own experience in this regard, when he writes: “Now whenever Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with him, then he would hear the voice conversing with him from above the cover that was upon the ark of the testimony, from between the two cherubs; and he would speak to him.”—Numbers 7:89.

*** w92 4/15 p. 12 par. 3 Jehovah’s Provision, the “Given Ones” ***
3 Jehovah told Moses: “Bring the tribe of Levi near . . . And they must take care of all the utensils of the tent of meeting . . . And you must give the Levites to Aaron and his sons. They are given ones [Hebrew, nethu•nim′], given to him from the sons of Israel.” (Numbers 3:6, 8, 9, 41) The Levites were “given” to Aaron to carry out duties in tabernacle service, so God could say: “They are given ones, given to me from among the sons of Israel.” (Numbers 8:16, 19; 18:6) Some Levites performed simple tasks; others received outstanding privileges, such as teaching God’s laws. (Numbers 1:50, 51; 1 Chronicles 6:48; 23:3, 4, 24-32; 2 Chronicles 35:3-5) Let us now shift our consideration to another “given” people and a modern parallel.

*** w13 12/15 p. 21 par. 19 ‘This Is to Be a Memorial for You’ ***
19 When the lamb was slaughtered for the Passover meal, the Israelites were not to break any of its bones. (Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:11, 12) What of “the Lamb of God” who came to provide the ransom? (John 1:29) He was impaled with a criminal on each side. The Jews asked Pilate that the bones of the impaled men be broken. This would hasten their death so that they would not be left on the stakes into Nisan 15, a double Sabbath. Soldiers broke the legs of the two impaled criminals, “but on coming to Jesus, as they saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.” (John 19:31-34) That matched what was done with the Passover lamb, so this lamb was in that sense “a shadow” of what was to come on Nisan 14, 33 C.E. (Heb. 10:1) Moreover, the way things worked out fulfilled the words at Psalm 34:20, which should strengthen our confidence in prophecy.

*** w13 12/15 p. 19 ‘This Is to Be a Memorial for You’ ***
[Box on page 19]
Jewish commentator Marcus Kalisch (1828-1885) wrote: “The same opinion has been more distinctly expressed by Ebn Ezra [noted Spanish rabbi, 1092-1167]: ‘We have two evenings; the first, the setting of the sun . . . and the second, the ceasing of the light which is reflected in the clouds; and between both lies an interval of about one hour and twenty minutes;’ and this explanation, which appears to be the most rational interpretation is also that of the Karaites and the Samaritans, and has been adopted by many others.” The view that the lamb was slaughtered at the start of Nisan 14 is consistent with the direction to the Israelites recorded at Deuteronomy 16:6 that “the passover” was to be sacrificed “in the evening as soon as the sun sets, at the appointed time of your coming out of Egypt.”—Ex. 30:8; Num. 9:3-5, 11.

*** w11 4/15 pp. 4-5 Do You Discern the Evidence of God’s Guidance? ***
Respond to God’s Guidance
How can we show that we appreciate God’s guidance? The apostle Paul said: “Be obedient to those who are taking the lead among you and be submissive.” (Heb. 13:17) Doing so may not always be easy. To illustrate: Put yourself in the place of an Israelite in Moses’ day. Imagine that after you have been walking for some time, the pillar comes to a halt. How long will it stay there? A day? A week? Several months? You wonder, ‘Is it worth unpacking all my possessions?’ First, you may unpack only the most necessary items. Yet, after a few days, frustrated at searching through your belongings, you begin to unpack everything. But then, just when you have about finished unpacking, you see the pillar lifting—and you have to start packing again! That would not be so easy or convenient. Still, the Israelites had to “pull away right afterward.”—Num. 9:17-22.
How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction? Do we try to apply it “right afterward”? Or do we continue doing things just as we have been accustomed to doing them? Are we familiar with up-to-date directions, such as those regarding conducting home Bible studies, preaching to foreign-speaking people, regularly sharing in family worship, cooperating with Hospital Liaison Committees, and conducting ourselves properly at conventions? We also show our appreciation for God’s guidance by accepting counsel. When faced with far-reaching decisions, we do not trust in our own wisdom but look to Jehovah and his organization for guidance. And just as a child seeks his parents’ protection when a storm rages, we seek protection in Jehovah’s organization when, like a thunderstorm, the problems of this world strike us.
Of course, those taking the lead in the earthly part of God’s organization are not perfect—but neither was Moses. Even so, the pillar provided constant evidence of his divine appointment and of God’s approval. Note, too, that it was not for each Israelite to determine when to start moving. Instead, the people acted “at the order of Jehovah by means of Moses.” (Num. 9:23) Thus Moses, God’s channel of direction, likely gave the signal to move.
Today, Jehovah’s steward class gives a clear signal whenever it is time to make a move. How does the steward do that? By means of articles in The Watchtower and Our Kingdom Ministry, new publications, and talks at assemblies and conventions. Instructions are also conveyed to the congregations through traveling overseers or through letters or training sessions attended by brothers having congregation responsibilities.

*** it-2 p. 183 Kohathite ***
The Kohathites other than Aaron and his sons were not allowed to see the utensils even for a moment or to touch the holy place, for doing so would mean death. (Nu 4:4-15, 20) Though Israel provided the Levites with cattle and wagons for transporting the tabernacle equipment, the Kohathites were not given any. Doubtless because of the sacredness of their burdens, they carried their loads on the shoulder. (Nu 7:2-9) They were the last of the Levites to pull away from an encampment.—Nu 10:17-21.

*** it-1 pp. 56-57 Age ***
An age limit was set for qualification to temple service, as was an age limit at which obligatory service ceased. Some have alleged a discrepancy in the statements at Numbers 4:3, 30, 31 and 8:24-26, since the age for beginning Levitical service is stated first as from 30 years of age and thereafter as from 25 years. However, the case seems to be that of two categories of service involved. Thus, certain rabbinic sources present the view that at the age of 25 a Levite was introduced into the tabernacle service but only to perform lighter tasks, and then, on reaching the full age of 30, he entered into the heavier tasks. They point out that the references to “the work” and “laborious service and the service of carrying loads” mentioned in Numbers 4:3, 47 do not appear at Numbers 8:24, where the age limit is 25. Others add the suggestion that those serving from the age of 30 years up had to do with the transporting of the tabernacle and its equipment when on the move, while those serving between the ages of 25 and 30 served only when the tabernacle was erected and standing at an encampment site.

*** w90 2/15 p. 14 pars. 21-22 From Seder to Salvation ***
21 The Hebrew day ran from sunset (about six o’clock) to the next sunset. God commanded that the Passover lamb be killed on Nisan 14 “between the two evenings.” (Exodus 12:6) When would that be? Modern Jews cling to the rabbinical view that the lamb was to be slaughtered near the end of Nisan 14, between the time when the sun began to descend (about three o’clock) and the actual sunset. As a result, they hold their Seder after sundown, when Nisan 15 has begun.—Mark 1:32.
22 We have good reason, however, to understand the expression differently. Deuteronomy 16:6 clearly told the Israelites to “slaughter the passover sacrifice, in the evening, at sundown.” (Jewish Tanakh version) This indicates that “between the two evenings” referred to the twilight period, from sunset (which begins Nisan 14) to actual darkness. The ancient Karaite Jews understood it this way, as do Samaritans down to today. Our accepting that the Passover lamb was sacrificed and eaten “at its appointed time” on Nisan 14, not on Nisan 15, is one reason why our Memorial date sometimes differs from the Jewish date.—Numbers 9:2-5.

*** w93 2/1 p. 31 Questions From Readers ***
Questions From Readers
If a Christian is sick or is traveling and thus not able to be at the Memorial celebration, should he celebrate it a month later?
In ancient Israel the Passover was held annually on the 14th day of the first month, named Nisan (or, Abib). But we find a special provision at Numbers 9:10, 11: “Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘Although any man of you or of your generations should happen to be unclean by a soul or off on a distant journey, he too must prepare the passover sacrifice to Jehovah. In the second month [named Iyyar, or Ziv], on the fourteenth day between the two evenings, they should prepare it. Together with unfermented cakes and bitter greens they should eat it.’”
Notice that this did not establish two alternative dates for the Passover (Nisan 14 or Ziv 14), with any Israelite or household free to choose, depending on convenience. The provision of a Passover meal in the second month was limited. It was an exception for an Israelite who was ceremonially unclean on Nisan 14 or was at a great distance from where the regular celebration was held.
The only recorded instance of this being widely used was at the time when faithful King Hezekiah revived the observance of the Festival of Unfermented Cakes. There was no time to get ready for the first month (the priests not being ready nor the people gathered), so it was held on the 14th day of the second month.—2 Chronicles 29:17; 30:1-5.
Other than such exceptional circumstances, the Jews kept the Passover on the date that God designated. (Exodus 12:17-20, 41, 42; Leviticus 23:5) Jesus and his disciples celebrated as the Law required, not treating this date casually. Luke reports: “The day of the unfermented cakes now arrived, on which the passover victim must be sacrificed; and [Jesus] dispatched Peter and John, saying: ‘Go and get the passover ready for us to eat.’”—Luke 22:7, 8.

No. 1: Numbers 9:9-23

No. 2: Once Saved Does Not Mean Always Saved (rs p. 358 ¶4–p. 359 ¶1)

rs p. 358 ¶4–p. 359 ¶1 Salvation
Jude 5, RS: “I desire to remind you, though you were once for all fully informed, that he who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.” (Italics added.)
Matt. 24:13, RS: “He who endures to the end will be saved.” (So a person’s final salvation is not determined at the moment that he begins to put faith in Jesus.)
Phil. 2:12, RS: “As you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (This was addressed to “the saints,” or holy ones, at Philippi, as stated in Philippians 1:1. Paul urged them not to be overly confident but to realize that their final salvation was not yet assured.)
Heb. 10:26, 27, RS: “If we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries.” (Thus the Bible does not go along with the idea that no matter what sins a person may commit after he is “saved” he will not lose his salvation. It encourages faithfulness. See also Hebrews 6:4-6, where it is shown that even a person anointed with holy spirit can lose his hope of salvation.)

No. 3: Achan—Robbing God Brings Dire Consequences (it-1 p. 41)

it-1 p. 41 Achan
(A′chan) [related through a play on words to Achar, meaning “Bringer of Ostracism (Trouble)”].
The son of Carmi of the household of Zabdi of the family of Zerah of the tribe of Judah; also called Achar.—1Ch 2:7.
When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, Jehovah explicitly commanded that the firstfruits of the conquest, the city of Jericho, “must become a thing devoted to destruction; . . . it belongs to Jehovah.” Its silver and gold were to be given to the treasury of Jehovah. (Jos 6:17, 19) Achan, however, upon finding a costly garment from Shinar and a 50-shekel gold bar (worth some $6,400) and 200 silver shekels ($440), secretly buried them beneath his tent. (Jos 7:21) Actually he had robbed God! Because of this violation of Jehovah’s explicit instructions, when the next city, Ai, was attacked Jehovah withheld his blessing, and Israel was put to flight. Who was guilty? No one confessed. All Israel was then put on trial. Tribe by tribe, then family by family of the tribe of Judah, and finally, man by man of the house of Zabdi, they passed before Jehovah until Achan “got to be picked.” (Jos 7:4-18) Only then did he admit his sin. Execution quickly followed. Achan, his family (who could hardly have been ignorant of what he had done), and his livestock were first stoned to death, and then burned with fire, together with all his possessions, in the Valley of Achor, meaning “Ostracism; Trouble.”—Jos 7:19-26.

References consulted on: Watchtower Library 2013 CD‒ROM

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